Some of these strategies can be incorporated during Pre-AP 3. Others can be implemented from the beginning and even in levels 1 and 2.
1. Listening skills- Cut out repeats on listening activities. There are no repeats on the AP Exam, and the students need to be prepared for that. Do some textbook and workbook activities with no repeats. Have studentslisten to authentic programs, newscasts, or shows which are followed by an evaluation of the comprehension.
2. Reading skills- Call on students to read out loud in class (checking pronunciation) the “Fondo Cultural” selections and call on others to translate for comprehension. Each chapter in the “Realidades” textbook has a challenging reading selection in it. Have students read the selectionand do a comprehension/ translation activity with it. There are also lots of easy Readings in the Realidades “Reading for TAKS” books and Blaine Ray books that can be used to translate, but the key to transitioning Pre-AP to AP is to have the students read things that are slightly above their level…no, they will not understand every word…that’s the point. They are supposed to use context clues toget the idea. Each reading activity should be timed. Each selection should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete, and each reading selection should be followed by comprehension questions.
3. Speaking skills- use simulated conversations in class to practice and test as well as formal oral presentations. Some of these have already been developed by the LISD curriculum team and areavailable for use on practices and tests.
a. For simulated conversations, give an outline to the students that will make them produce questions and answers (it is not always teacher asks questions and students produce the answers) about a topic within the same time frame as allotted on the AP exam. Also, it is not always 1 question and 1 answer in a 20 second response…sometimes the student isresponsible for addressing multiple tasks during the 20 second response: for example, reacting to some information, commenting about the information AND asking for more information. This can be done as practice in class and on alternating exams. Each evaluation should be limited to no more than 5 responses of 20 seconds each within the conversation.
b. For extra practice, have shortconversations with students in the target language for a daily grade to get them to utilize the current vocabulary and grammar. Their response time should be limited to 20 seconds each. They should respond as fully and appropriately as possible for the entire 20 seconds.
c. For formal oral presentations, have students read one article within an allotted time and listen to another article and put thetwo pieces together in a well organized 1 minute speech which synthesizes the two parts into one new whole. This will take training on key phrases for introductions, transitions, source citations, and conclusions to build a strong mastery of these skills. Also, the students must be trained not to speak in the first person singular or the second person. Both the formal oral presentation and thepresentational essay must be completed in an impersonal manner. ( The actual AP time is a 2 minute speech)
4. Writing skills- Teach the rules of stress and accents. Practice interpersonal writing skills by teaching friendly letter formatting and business letter formatting which addresses both familiar and formal registers. Do peer editing of letters in class and have other studentsread their peer’s letter, make corrections, etc. Keep the formatting, timing and topics relative to that found on AP exams which include date, greeting, body, and closing. Minimum word count is 60 words in 10 minutes utilizing as many logical grammatical structures as possible. To achieve the complex structure credit, all present and past subjunctive combinations must be taught in Pre-AP....